The Theory of Moral Sentiments is a 1759 book by Adam Smith. It provided the ethical, philosophical, psychological, and methodological underpinnings to Smith's later works, including The Wealth of Nations (1776), Essays on Philosophical Subjects (1795), and Lectures on Justice, Police, Revenue, and Arms (1763) (first published in 1896).
Adam Smith considered his first major book, The Theory of Moral Sentiments, his most important work. Indeed, the tome was a wild success upon its publication, selling out immediately. It has not lost popularity since. In this legendary work, Smith discusses the nature of morality, and the motives behind and origins of these "sentiments." Originally published in 1759, this work provides the philosophical underpinnings for his later works, as well as elucidating the psychological and moral foundations of the workings of a complex society. Smith parses many important concepts in this book, with the central questions perhaps being: Where do our moral principles come from? Are they divine and inborn, reflection of man-made laws, or rational, based on their usefulness to society? Smith's answers to these questions and more, and his explanation of how such sentiments, however derived, influence society's self-coordination, have interested lay and scholar alike for hundreds of years.
Adam Smith was a Scottish economist, philosopher as well as a moral philosopher, a pioneer of political economy, and a key figure during the Scottish Enlightenment, also known as ''The Father of Econo...More about Adam Smith
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